philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Epic Virtual Reality Experiences at Tribeca Film Festival Through April 30th

My problem with a lot of VR, especially 360 video, is that nothing really goes on behind you, while reducing the director's ability to manipulate time, space and perspective to tell a story. Remember, Remember, from Kevin Cornish, and Moth and Flame Productions.  a live action 360 video, takes place during an alien invasion. It's one of the most inventive and cinematic experiences I had at the Arcade, but again I wonder if it might have been just as good as a film. Of course there's really no market for short films, while there will soon be a market for these kinds of VR experience.

Finally, no Arcade would be complete without a game. Bebylon Battle Royale was brought to the Festival by tiny LA start up, Kite and Lightning. You are in an arena driving a hovercar trading punches (and bombs) with an opponent. It takes place in a world where the fountain of youth was found, turning the entire civilization into greedy, violent babies. The company plans to turn Bebylon Battle Royale into a massive multiplayer environment, where additional player can sit in the stands and interact with the gladiators, throwing rotten tomatoes, etc.

Even sampling one third of the Tribeca Arcade's offering, one is struck by the rapid pace of the medium's development. Indeed, Tribeca should think about spinning off it's interactive hub into its own Festival. As such, it could be in a larger venue that offers more stations, which would mean more through put, and more people getting a taste of the promise of this amazing medium.

See the full story here:


Augumenta Introduces Cloud-Accessible Studio Tool and Templates for Augmented Reality Application Development

Augumenta, Ltd. is making it easier to develop Augmented Reality (AR) applications with the introduction of Augumenta Studio. The cloud-based tool allows developers to quickly design AR applications for smartglass-equipped workers using pre-built templates, libraries of control elements such as meters and gauges, and Augumenta's virtual surface tools and gesture-control software.

The company is showing how Augumenta Studio is used to build applications for the Augumenta SmartPanel running on the ODG R-7 smartglasses system. Additionally, the company is showing its upcoming Augumenta SmartAlert template, which is optimized for use cases where workers use monocular display smartglasses like the Vuzix® M300.

ideo demonstrations of the application templates are here: and a short video about the Augumenta SmartPanel is here:

See the full story here:


NAB 2017: Pre-Conference Sessions Examine Virtual Reality

It was clear from the SMPTE Future of Cinema sessions and the Post Production World sessions on VR that the NAB community has moved beyond defining virtual reality to how to address specific challenges and questions. Industry leaders gathered in Las Vegas to discuss the latest in VR production and post production, covering areas such as audio, video, hardware and more. Discussions during the pre-NAB weekend sessions also addressed compelling issues related to augmented reality, artificial intelligence, deep learning — even ethics, PR and marketing.

Gary Adcock and Blair Paulsen, who each have 5 years of VR production experience, had prepared over an hour’s worth of slides for their Understanding VR Hardware session. They were repeatedly interrupted and redirected by questions from the audience on such nuts and bolts topics as how to synch the cameras in a 360 rig, how to select and mix lenses, what microphone configurations are best for specific shoot environments and for audio manipulation in post, and how to decide where and at what height to place the VR camera rig.


In the AR/VR/AI and Deep Learning session, Lionel Oisel, Technicolor’s principal scientist, said that the production experience will have to become much more intuitive and streamlined before he expects production costs to come down and broad industry adoption of VR.

Mach1 CEO Jacqueline Bosnjak pointed out that everything about VR is evolving rapidly. Planning the project and the workflow is good, she said, but be prepared to constantly iterate the plan up to the point where you deliver the project.

Oisel also mentioned that aligning a press release with a product release can be problematic due to updates in the VR platforms for which you are completing the project. Your press release may state that your project will work on a number of named platforms, but an update to any one of them may prevent your project from running on that named platform — and trigger a PR problem.

Oisel, who is an expert in artificial intelligence, noted that eventually AI will allow the audience to dictate the narrative experience. He also pointed out that the AI could shape the experience to the individual user based on whatever it can determine about the user’s tastes and their current emotional state.


On Saturday afternoon, SMPTE’s Patrick Griffis moderated a discussion titled “Do Consumers Really Care About Artistic Intent?” That discussion bounced between the cases of the controlled theatrical environment and the uncontrolled consumer device environment for produced, non-interactive linear content. With AR, VR and AI, the discussion backtracks to what constitutes the work of art, who are the artists, and what are the definition and boundaries of the artistic intent.

In response to an audience question, no one on the panel was aware of any laws, guideline or codes of ethics that could help companies determine how best to manage consumer data to satisfy consumer concerns. VR, AR and AI provide a more responsive and personalized experience when they can track and respond to every head motion, every consumer response to a sound, every interactive choice, and any other bit of sensory and position data that is captured by the equipment while the consumer is interacting with the piece.

The Entertainment Technology Center is aware of some efforts around the globe to construct guidelines and codes of ethics from managing user data for VR, AR and AI for commercial (as opposed to academic) situations. The ETC could play a role in shaping and publicizing those efforts.

See the original post here:


Democratic Party’s virtual reality game featuring Renho draws mixed reactions

Picture1In the game "VR Renho," players can become the prime minister trying to endure questioning from DP President Renho during Diet deliberations. Renho attacks with some of her famous lines such as "Huh? I don't understand the mean of that," and "Where do you see the freedom to play around here?" The game displays the player's level of composure in the face of Renho's grilling by measuring changes in the player's pulse rate.

The DP has received strong criticism from both outside and inside the party that the game is "stupid," but the DP's youth division that developed the game, maintains that it would like to connect with young people who are currently disinterested in politics.

See the full story here:


Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sued for Requiring Permits on Augmented Reality Games

Candy Lab AR alleges a First Amendment violation in the way the city responded to 'Pokemon Go' mania.

That might have seemed appropriate to city officials who witnessed how Pokemon Go sparked nuisance litigation, but Candy Lab is challenging the constitutionality of the measure. The company, represented by attorney Brian Wassom (who wrote here about the real-life problems for augmented games), is hyping its lawsuit as having far-reaching implications for the industry.

According to the complaint (read here), the "restriction impinges on Candy Lab AR’s right to free speech by regulating Candy Lab AR’s right to publish its video games that make use of the augmented reality medium. The Ordinance is a prior restraint on Candy Lab AR’s speech, impermissibly restricts Candy Lab AR’s speech because of its content, and is unconstitutionally vague such that Candy Lab AR does not have notice as to what speech must be approved by permit and which it can express without seeking a permit."

See the full story here:

also here:


The Legal Issues of Augmented Reality Video Game Development

pokemon-go-crop-600x338In addition, there are a lot of issues when you bring location-based data into gameplay. One of the most notable is data privacy and cybersecurity, in particular where children are playing the gaIn addition, there are a lot of issues when you bring location-based data into gameplay. One of the most notable is data privacy and cybersecurity, in particular where children are playing the game. Age-gating, and perhaps other game designs, should be employed to verify the age of the gamer. Location-based data also opens certain advertising strategies and partnerships for AR technology more generally.

Culp explained, “I was speaking with a privacy professional in the self-driving car space today, and she was convinced – as am I – that we will ultimately travel to work in self-driving AR bubbles, wherein we can do work, play games, receive advertising. Imagine the possibilities – and privacy challenges – if that car knows where you are and what you like.”me. Age-gating, and perhaps other game designs, should be employed to verify the age of the gamer. Location-based data also opens certain advertising strategies and partnerships for AR technology more generally.

See the full story here:


Startup to Introduce Holographic TV Technology at NAB 2017

Light_Field_Labs_RaytraceStartup Light Field Labs, founded by three former Lytro engineers, is working on creating holographic displays via light field technology. The goal is to create a TV set that can project a 3D hologram into the living room, with the further-off goal of enabling the user to touch it. Although that might sound like science fiction, the company founders stand behind their idea, and state the company will be able to ship a few displays to developers in 2018. Commercial production will be in operation by 2019 or 2020.

...the three founders — chief executive Jon Karafin, chief technologist Brendan Bevensee and vice president of engineering Ed Ibe — say commercial production will commence “either by licensing the company’s technology to partners or by building out its own production facilities.”

See the full post here:


TheWaveVR is a mesmerizing, trippy take on the future of music festivals

dj-venueTheWaveVR will remind you of drugs even if you’ve never done drugs and will probably also make you want to do drugs.

The virtual reality music app is launching a beta version today on Steam early access that brings you into a world of outlandish visuals and heavy electronic music inside a social arena.

Today, the Austin-based startup is also announcing that it has closed a $4 million seed round led by Upfront Ventures. Other investors in the round include RRE Ventures, KPCB Edge, Greycroft VR Gaming Tracker Fund, Luma Launch, Boost VC and The VR Fund.

I’d question the sustainability of that model if I hadn’t already experienced a concert, but the reality is that this app is going to be something that every worthwhile DJ — in LA or elsewhere — will be playing around with soon and I’m sure it won’t be long before users have their pick up some top artists inside the app. The team is building tools for artists to import tracks that they can play around with onstage.

See the full story here:


Stronger Privacy Laws Could Save Advertising From Itself

For more than ten years, an ad network called The Deck showed the world that digital advertising could be different. The service displayed only one small ad per page. Its parent company, Coudal Partners, vowed not to collect personal data. Instead, it carefully selected both the publishers and the advertisers it worked with, cultivating a collection of relevant ads for an engaged audience. The Deck was, in short, exactly what most people would want in place of today’s nightmarish advertising ecosystem.

But last month Coudal Partners announced that it’s shutting the network down. The company blamed the ad industry’s tectonic shift of funneling dollars to Facebook and Google and away from other platforms. Advertisers are drawn to the two tech behemoths precisely because they each collect an enormous amount of user data and can theoretically serve ads to targeted audiences. And now ad networks that value privacy are casualties in a battle where gobbling up personal data is routine.

last year, the European Union passed a sweeping set of data privacy rules called the General Data Protection Regulation. The new rules, scheduled to go into effect next May, will require all companies serving EU residents to get explicit permission from those users for ad-targeting purposes. The rules also require that companies allow EU residents to view the data about them that’s been collected; update or remove that data from those companies’ servers; and even transfer it to other companies. Companies that violate the rules could end up paying out as much as four percent of their worldwide revenue.

The great promise of digital advertising was that sponsors would finally be able to know, with great precision, how many people actually saw their ads...

What digital advertisers soon realized, however, was that even though huge numbers of people might see an ad, a small percentage of those people would actually click on those banners.

The led to the birth of a huge ecosystem of ad-tech companies dedicated to collecting, selling, and mining personal data to find users who would be more inclined to engage with an ad. The trade-off was advertisers lost control of where their ads appeared, and publishers gave up a big chunk of their ad revenue to middlemen.

“We’re all wasting way too much time and money on a media supply chain with poor standards-adoption, too many players grading their own homework, too many hidden touches, and too many holes to allow criminals to rip us off,” Procter and Gamble chief marketing officer Marc Pritchard said in a speech at an Interactive Advertising Bureau event earlier this year. Pritchard gave the digital advertising industry a year to clean up its act, after which he said Procter and Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser, would begin pulling its business from ad brokers that aren’t sufficiently transparent in their dealings.

US. President Donald Trump signed a resolution just last month preventing the Federal Communications Commission from forcing internet service providers to seek permission from users before using their web browsing history for ad-targeting.

According to a survey by YouGov and the Huffington Post, 72 percent of Republicans believed the FCC rules should have been allowed to go into effect, as did 71 percent of the public overall.

See the full story here:

Stronger Privacy Laws Could Save Advertising From Itself


ETC@USC Posts New vNAB Conference Videos on YouTube

More than 30 videos from the 3rd annual Entertainment Technology Center@USC vNAB Conference are going live for viewing on the ETCenterVideos YouTube channel. This year’s vNAB featured thought leaders and catalysts from the entertainment, consumer electronics, technology, and service industries presenting their insider’s perspective on emerging and disruptive technologies. The talks were recorded March 20-21 at Google’s offices in Venice, California. The vNAB Conference is a prelude to the Next Generation Media Technologies sessions scheduled for the upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 25-26.

The Day One release also includes speakers from Google, Western Digital, Oracle, Aspera, Equinix, Pac-12 Enterprises, Dalet and Avalanche.

The second series of talks, to be posted on Wednesday, April 19, explore artificial intelligence, machine learning, the future of narrative, and immersive experiences in VR, AR and mixed realities. The lineup includes presenters from Google, Technicolor, Adobe, Fox Sports, Disney and GrayMeta.

See the full story with all the links here: